Avid NEXIS - Avids 3rd Gen Shared Storage

For NAB 2016 Avid announced its next offering in its shared storage legacy, Avid NEXIS (NEXt generation Intelligent Storage) Though new in name, this has already been seen in the successful ISIS|1000 which has now been re-branded into the family as NEXIS|Pro

That said, with a new file system and hardware line up, the NEXIS brand is firmly established as the next generation of shared storage.

Taking the current ISIS flexibility further than before, the new NEXIS software and File System now offers users the ability to tailor and tune each workspace’s capacity, performance, and drive protection. Users can choose optimal types of data protection for each workspace. This means you can protect a workspace against single or dual drive failures, with automatic drive rebuild. Avid are also hoping to add engine protection with media mirroring in a later release, to protect the entire system for up to five simultaneous disk failures. 

Capacity and scale
NEXIS | E2 & E4 storage engines feature an embedded System Director for the systems management and operation. Using the embedded System Director gives up to 240 TB of storage over 4 Media Packs supporting 8 million files. Client count is 40. 

However for larger scale deployments and high availability, the optional external System Director Appliance is used to allow up to 1.44 PB of storage over 24 Media Packs supporting Supports 20 million files and up to 330 active clients (and 600 inactive)

NEXIS Hardware
Chassis (or enclosures) can be purchased as either the 2U Avid NEXIS|E2 or 4U Avid NEXIS|E4. The E2 contains a single 'media pack' (10 disks) while the E4 can contain either 1 or 2 media packs.

For more information on the Avid NEXIS Product line up visit Avid Storage Page or download the PDF.

As this has only been announced a few days ago, we obviously haven't had chance to look at it in great detail, other than what is on the web site, but the system reads very interestingly.

This announcement also brings into question the longevity of the ISIS 7500 and 5500 systems, but if the ISIS|1000, sorry NEXIS|Pro, is anything to go by it will be an interesting product line up and must surely sign the end of the older systems.

As and when we have more info and get out hands on one we will post more information. In the mean time here's a little memory jog with Avid and its shared storage lineage...

Looking back at Avid's shared storage
I'm old enough to have worked on Avid's first shared storage solution. Not Avid Unity, but rather Avid MediaShare (nick named Avid Media Scare, circa 1998) which used a traffic light system to allow access to various 'drives' available over a fibre channel network on ABVB systems. Not a true shared storage system with regards to Project sharing and multiple edit suites being able to write to the same volume simultaneously. 

Avid MediaShare Interface

To get this type of functionality, we needed to wait for the arrival of Avid's Unity MediaNetwork. This was based around the same fibre channel connectivity and Fibre Channel array but now introduced a new file system and 'File Manager.' It was here, for the first time that systems could share both Projects and Media simultaneously.

1Gb Emulex FC switch | IBM Systium File Manager | 90GB Clarion FC Array

This soldiered on in a number of guises, giving birth to the Gigabit Ethernet 'Lanshare' on its way to it's final version of v5 offering clients to connect over either a 4Gb Fibre or 1Gb Ethernet connection. It's limit however, was the file system and the fact it could only track 10,000 folders and 500,000 files.

ISIS 7000/7500 chassis
Enter at this point Avid ISIS|7000 (Infinitely Scalable Intelligent Storage) In its first guise, the ISIS 7000, offered connections via Ethernet only (1Gb and 10Gb) but offered a leap (eventually) into being able to track 8 million files on a system that could support over a PetaByte of data. The 7000 was the standard choice for Broadcasters, but not until the arrival of the Avid ISIS|5000 would this technology become available to Post Houses.